Our Rights and Responsibilities

Working Temporarily in Canada

If foreign workers want to work in Canada, their employer may need to get a labour market opinion* (which states that the employer can fill the job with a foreign worker) depending on the job. A work permit does not allow foreign workers to live in Canada permanently. Most people apply for work permits outside of Canada. See the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at http://www.cic.gc.ca/.

If you want to come to Canada to work as an exotic/erotic dancer in a bar or club, you require a work permit and confirmation. These positions are categorized as ‘performing artists,’ and are now more difficult to get permits for as changes have been introduced to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to help protect vulnerable foreign workers who could become victims of exploitation. Immigration officers could then deny your permit if they think you might be vulnerable, trafficked into Canada, or exploited. See this site for more information

All temporary foreign workers employed as exotic dancers must sign an Employment Contract* for a duration of no longer than one year. The contract contains:

  • the wages, hours of work per day/week (a minimum of 30 hours/week is guaranteed, and foreign dancers are entitled to keep all their tips and gratuities)
  • the duties of the job must be limited to stage and/or table dancing and cannot include ANY physical contact with club patrons (eg. lap dancing), nor private dancing, (here ‘private’ means not in plain view from the main stage, such as behind a curtain or in a secluded booth)
  • the duty of the employer to assist in applying for provincial/territorial public health care insurance coverage,
  • workplace safety insurance coverage (for which costs cannot be charged to the dancer)
  • deductions payable as laid out in the law (eg. employment insurance, income tax, Canadian Pension Plan)
  • two-way transportation costs from and to the dancer’s home country to be covered by the employer
  • any costs related to the recruitment of foreign exotic dancers must be covered by the employer and cannot be charged to the dancer.

See http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/foreign_workers/contracts-forms/contract-ed.shtml for instruction sheet to accompany employment contract.

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